SPCC DALE operates in a stretched middle school model. Our classes are Stage based groups and have a maximum of 16 students enrolled in each stage. Each stage has a fully qualified Teacher and Wellbeing Assistant supporting students. Our staff are specialised and trained in evidenced based strategies that best support the needs of our students.
The DALE Way
SPCC DALE has undertaken research into the needs of children and young people who have Anxiety, Depression and PTSD, to find ways of improving learning engagement which give them the best opportunity to flourish for the whole of their life.
The DALE Way encapsulates the current research from the Responsive Classrooms research (see responsiveclassrooms.org). At DALE, we have used this research to develop the DALE Day.
The main components that support the structure of the DALE Day include;
- Movement and a morning meeting to set the day up well for students
- Brain breaks scattered throughout the day to assist students transition between subjects
- Students are prepared for the unstructured break times with opportunity to debrief following each break
Layered within the DALE Way are pedagogical approaches that give all students an equal opportunity to succeed. We incorporate Explicit Instruction and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
Explicit instruction is where the Teacher develops a positive learning environment and high expectations for success. It provides structure to each lesson and involves;
- Explanation (I do)
- Demonstration (we do) and
- Practice (you do).
Universal Design provides a platform for all students to enter the learning process based on their strengths. There are three main principals to UDL –
- Representation and Action
When the Teacher finds multiple means that a student can use to engage, represent and express their learning, they are better able to participate within the learning process.
Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS – see livesinthebalance.org) plays a vital role in helping students better understand the challenges they face interacting with others, regulating themselves and participating in learning. CPS gives students a voice in their education. Each campus has CPS champions who support new staff in the journey towards CPS championship status.
We are thankful to the AISNSW for the opportunity to undertake research into the effectiveness of CPS to engage students through their School-based Research grants.